Thursday, February 11, 2010

Darfur: Compensating victims of conflict

Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) - About one hundred members of the Darfur Compensation Commission (DCC) and the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) came together in El Fasher, North Darfur, with the support of UNAMID's Rule of Law division to begin working in El Fasher, North Darfur, towards the compensation of victims of the conflict.

At the opening ceremony of the DCC's workshop entitled "Understanding Compensation under the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)," senior UNAMID officials joined the Director of the DCC and the Secretary-General of the TDRA in North Darfur in stressing the importance of reparations to the pursuit of justice and sustainable peace in Darfur. "War-affected persons have an inalienable right to have their grievances heard in a comprehensive manner and to receive compensation," stated Mahmoud Abu Al-Ruzz, Acting Head of the Mission's North Darfur office.

The legal consultants and government officials participating in the workshop will be familiarised with the DPA's modalities for compensation and also try to learn lessons from other strife-ridden countries which underwent reparations, such as Sierra Leone.

Chief of UNAMID's Rule of Law Division, Germain Baricako pointed out that UNAMID is mandated to assist with addressing property and land disputes as well as compensation issues, as per the DPA and any subsequent peace agreement. However he emphasized that the provision of technical assistance and logistical support was only complementary, and that the primary responsibility to implement the DPA and compensation ultimately resided with the Government of Sudan.

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